Man’s choking death prompts neglect charge against Manor Care of Palos Heights

By Robert Hadley | Dec 4, 2015

CHICAGO–The children of a nursing home resident who died from choking on food are suing a Palos Heights care facility, alleging neglect.

Helen G. and David Cardwell, as independent administrators of the estate of Gerald McNamara, filed a personal injury lawsuit Nov. 23 in Cook County Circuit Court against Manor Care of Palos Heights (West) Illinois, Manorcare Health Services-Palos Heights West, HCR IV Healthcare, Manor Care of Palos Heights Illinois, Paul Ormond, Caitlyn Casey, HCR Manor Care, Dr. Rathna Yallapragada, Susan Kio, Ngozi Uwadiale, Jill Catherine Hickey, and MLP1, an unnamed nursing home employee. 

The case is brought under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.

According to the complaint, McNamara, 83, choked on food he was served while a resident of Manor Care of Palos Heights. The suit says the defendants failed to properly care for McNamara by not cutting his food into small pieces and failing to supervise him while he ate. As a result of choking, the suit says McNamara died Dec. 2, 2013.

The Cardwells seek damages of more than $50,000. They are represented by attorney Jeremy L. Geller of Tapp & Geller in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case number 2015-L011929.

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